Through March 5, 2023

With deep pride, we announce that the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, is currently exhibiting the Four Winds Gallery collection of silver vessels:

Elegant Vessels: A Century of Southwest Silver Boxes.

The exhibition runs through March 5, 2023, in the Kitchell Gallery, featuring what we believe to be the most comprehensive collection of Native-made silver boxes in existence.

Curated by Robert Bauver, a specialist in historical silver jewelry and metalwork, the exhibition features more than 75 boxes, from early works dating to c. 1914 through commissioned works made in 2022. The exhibition includes the artistry of Leo Poblano (Zuni Pueblo), Leekya Deyuse (Zuni Pueblo), Kenneth Begay (Diné), Paul Saufkie (Hopi), Morris Robinson (Hopi), Fred Peshlakai (Diné), Jennifer Curtis (Navajo), and other accomplished silversmiths.


DeceMBER 2 -3, 2022

Join us on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3 for the “Elegant Vessels: A Century of Southwest Silver Boxes” book release and signing.

The book chronicles all the pieces in the show with artistic photography by Evan Sanders and word by Robert Bauver.

At Four Winds Gallery, 5512 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15232.



It all started with one tiny, powerful Navajo box…

Sometime in the late 1970’s, I purchased my first Navajo container, marveling at the deceptively complex and sophisticated metalwork exhibited in this “tourist” piece. Repousse, folded metal, and perfect firework set on exquisitely formed button feet compelled me to learn more about this underappreciated form of native artistry.

So began a more than four-decade quest to find and acquire the most innovative and technically exceptional examples of Navajo and pueblo boxes, starting with the earliest examples I could locate and tracing a timeline through the C.G. Wallace era, to the mid-century masters, and culminating with commissioned pieces from several of today’s top artists.

The lids often provide a flat palette for expression unavailable on most three dimensional jewelry forms. Exquisite lapidary technique and execution combine with masterful metalwork of many of the boxes, with each example having its own unique life.

Seeking out and amassing this group has been quite a challenge, an educational and artistic journey that sincerely hope will bring pleasure to all who view these examples. My heartfelt gratitude to the Heard Museum for agreeing to present this important collection.

– John Krena


This exhibition offers visitors the unique opportunity to view the technical and stylistic evolution of Native-made silver boxes over the past 100 years from simple utilitarian containers to outstanding works of the jeweler’s art.” – Robert Bauver

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